Sunday, May 1, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun ~ Lifespans of My 2x Great Grandparents

A little late to the fun, but I liked Randy Seaver's (of the Genea-Musings blog) challenge this week.

1) We each have 16 great-great grandparents. How did their birth and death years vary? How long were their lifespans?

2) For this week, please list your 16 great-great grandparents, their birth year, their death year, and their lifespan in years. You can do it in plain text, in a table or spreadsheet, or in a graph of some sort.

3) Share your information about your 16 great-great grandparents with us in a blog post of your own. 

These are my second great grandparents. (By the way, you can see my third great grandparents here.)

16. James Pyle (1823 – 1900), 77 years
17. Esther Abigail Whitman (1828 – 1921), 93 years
18. David Hunter McAlpin (1816 – 1901), 85 years
19. Frances Adelaide Rose (1829 – 1870), 41 years
20. James Monroe Adsit (1809 – 1894), 85 years
21. Susan Arville Chapin (1820 – 1906), 86 years
22. Daniel Morgan Ashby (1827 – 1907), 80 years
23. Mary Elizabeth Gorin (1833 – 1891), 58 years
24. Henry Clay Copeland (1832 – 1912), 80 years
25. Sarah Lowell (1833 – 1916), 83 years
26. Samuel Sewall Greeley (1824 – 1916), 92 years
27. Eliza May Wells (1839 – 1880), 41 years
28. James Hunter (1844 – 1902), 58 years
29. Mary Freeland (1850 – 1902), 52 years
30. George Lysle, Jr. (1845 – 1900), 55 years
31. Marion Helen Alston (1850 – 1885), 35 years

The average birth year for my 16 second great grandparents is 1831, with a 41-year range from 1809 (Adsit) to 1850 (Alston and Freeland). The average death year is 1900, with a 51-year range from 1870 (Rose) to 1921 (Whitman).

And the average lifespan is almost 69 years for my 16 second great grandparents, with a range of 35 (Alston) to 93 (Whitman) years. The great grandfathers averaged a lifespan of 76.5 years, and great grandmothers averaged lifespan is 61 years. Interesting to see that I have several second great grandmothers who died young, (and not due to complications of childbirth).

Bill West, of West in New England, added an interesting analysis, averaging this information for his paternal line versus his maternal line. When I do that, I find that the eight great grandparents on my father's side had an average lifespan of over 75 years and the eight great grandparents on my mother's side had an average lifespan of only 62 years. Of course, there were several very early deaths on that side of the family.


  1. I like this "additional" statistic of maternal vs paternal ancestors! Nice. And, I also think it's interesting that your females died an average of 15 years younger than your males since males tend to live longer. Very neat!

    I loved doing this SNGF. Mine is here:

    1. I brought the information into an Excel spreadsheet so it was easy to calculate the additional statistics. I enjoyed looking at your results too.

  2. This is a really interesting idea for a blog post. Thanks for sharing this. I find it interesting that despite what we believe, people born in the early to mid 1800s still mostly lived into their 80s. (disregarding the mathematical average you calculated)
    We tend to believe their were much shorter lived due to disease, etc. Apparently not so.

    1. Yes, I found this a very interesting exercise. The range of lifespans was fascinating.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.